Stockholm (2018)

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Based on the absurd but true 1973 bank heist and hostage crisis in Stockholm that was documented in the New Yorker as the origins of the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’. (IMDb)
Strikes a great balance between high-stakes hostage thrills and quirky character comedy, led by Hawke’s notable turn as the volatile and eccentric “(just call me) The Outlaw”, who clashes with straight-laced cops and forms an odd bond with his captors (see the excellent Dylan-backed montage of pear-eating in the vault). A barely-there epilogue makes you wish more time was spent on his background and motivations though, as well as on the event’s aftermath for Rapace’s enigmatic Bianca.
7/10 (Good)

 

First Reformed (2017)

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A priest of a small congregation in upstate New York grapples with mounting despair brought on by tragedy, worldly concerns and a tormented past. (IMDb)
A devastating near-masterpiece. There were two questionable moments–that trip through nature, and the final exchange (both a happy and a sad ending could’ve been powerful, but this was just cliche)–but they’re outweighed by the loaded theological pondering, the hopeless expose of environmental destruction and religious evils (see the contrast of the celebration plans with everything else), and the resulting descent into despair and anger that envelops the viewer. Wonderfully acted and shot.
8.5/10 (Amazing)

Dead Poets Society (1989)

A beautiful account of a quirky teacher and how he inspired his students to “seize the day!” and be themselves. Although the drama is spread slightly thin between Todd’s, Neil’s, and Keating’s unique stories, respectively, the differing impacts of Keating’s teaching as seen in the two boys’ distinct journeys add an authentic complexity to the story as a whole. Williams, Hawke, and Leonard are all superb in their performances which ultimately pushes this film to soul-touching depths.
7.5/10 (Really Good)